Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The purpose of this guide is to answer questions on two product marketing requirements for business placing goods on the UK market.

These FAQs do not cover regulations for medical devices, rail interoperability, construction products, civil explosives, and products requiring eco-design and energy labelling on the market. Guidance on these can be found here: medical devices, rail interoperability, construction products, civil explosives, and products requiring eco-design and energy labelling).

The UKNI (United Kingdom Northern Ireland) marking is the new conformity marking for products placed on the market in Northern Ireland but only where a UK based conformity assessment body has been used; it also covers goods that continue to require the CE marking. It is used alongside the CE marking for goods which have undergone mandatory third-party conformity assessment by a conformity assessment based in the UK (a UK ‘notified body’). Goods with the CE+UKNI marking cannot be sold in the EU. The CE marking is still accepted in Northern Ireland for self-declared and EU Notified Body assessed goods.

PART 1: REQUIREMENTS FOR UKCA MARKED PRODUCTS

1. Does my product require the UKCA marking for the GB market?

2. Where can I find guidance on the new UK domestic regime and the UKCA requirements?

  • Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain here.
  • Using the UKCA marking here.
  • UK Conformity assessment here.
  • Placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland here.
  • Using the UKNI marking here.
  • For guidance on moving goods between NI and GB and vice versa here.

3. What are the timings for the UKCA marking?

  • Until 31 December 2022: CE marked goods in the scope of this guidance that meet EU requirements (where these match UK requirements) can continue to be placed on the GB market until 31 December 2022. However, we strongly encourage all businesses to start using the UKCA marking as soon as possible.
  • From 1 January 2023: Businesses must use the UKCA marking in most cases from 1 January 2023 if your product:
    ▪ is being placed on the market in Great Britain; and
    ▪ is covered by legislation which requires the UKCA marking.
  • Until 31 December 2023: Businesses can attach the UKCA marking on an accompanying document or label attached to the products. There are different rules for medical devices, construction products, marine equipment, transportable pressure equipment and rail products.
  • From 1 January 2024: Businesses, in most cases will need to apply the UKCA marking directly on the product, unless specified otherwise by the legislation.

There are exceptions and alternative guidance for medical devices, rail interoperability, construction products, civil explosives, and products requiring eco-design and energy labelling), for others please check the Product safety and metrology from 1 January 2021: Great Britain.

4. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that products have the UKCA marking? The importer, manufacturer, or distributor?

Responsibility rests with the manufacturer, importer or distributor (the relevant economic operators) at various stages. The UKCA marking is affixed by the manufacturer or their authorised representative.

Manufacturer:

  • By attaching the UKCA marking, the manufacturer declares that the product conforms to UK legislative requirements including confirming that the required conformity assessments have been completed.

Importer:

  • When placing goods on the GB market, importers will need to make sure that the goods conform to UK legislative requirements, including that the required conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that the goods have the correct conformity markings.
  • Importers must make sure that the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with the labelling requirements. Importers must also label the product with their own name and address.

Distributor:

  • Distributor status carries certain obligations such as taking due care to ensure that the products meet the legislative requirements as well as checking that products are accompanied by the required conformity marking and documentation.

Care must be taken by the relevant economic operator (manufacturer, importer, or distributor) to ensure the product bears the UKCA marking and, in the case of manufacturers, to affix it.

5. Can you define ‘Placing on the market’?

A product is placed on the market when there is an offer or an agreement, verbal or written for the transfer of the ownership, possession or any other kind of right, excluding intellectual property rights, concerning the product. It does not therefore require the physical transfer of the product.

6. What is the status of ‘existing CE stock that has not been placed on the market after 2022 in Great Britain?

  • Goods with the CE marking which are placed on the GB market before 1 January 2023 can continue to circulate to their end user.
  • Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods which bear the CE marking can continue to be placed on the GB market. You can read more about this here.

7. If there has been a change of ownership to a GB company, of a product before 01/01/23 but the product is held in a warehouse outside the UK can it still be imported into GB with a CE mark after?

  • Yes, the product can be imported into GB with a CE mark. The key point here is that a good must be UKCA marked when it’s placed on the market. Placed on the market is defined as when there is a written or verbal agreement, for a fully manufactured good or an individual good that is “placed on the market. This does not necessarily require the transfer of the item physically.

8. What do businesses need to do to use the UKCA marking?

  • Businesses will need to identify if their product needs UKCA marking.
  • Then businesses need to check whether their products need third party conformity assessment or are subject to self-declaration.
  • Where self-declaration is permitted, businesses must draw up a UK Declaration of Conformity and keep technical documentation. This must contain all relevant information about how you ensured that your product meets the requirements.
  • Where products require third party conformity assessment, these products will need to be assessed by a UK based approved body to be placed on the Great British market from 1 January 2023.

9. Can businesses dual mark their product?

  • Both the CE and UKCA mark can be placed on a product so long as neither impedes the visibility of the other. The relevant regulatory requirements must be met for both markets.

10. Is the UKCA required for goods requiring conformity to the Ecodesign regulations?

  • Some products require UKCA marking to conform with Ecodesign regulations. If businesses are unsure if this applies to their products, Part 2 of the 2010 Ecodesign regulations lay out the requirements for CE and UKCA marking.
  • These regulations are amended by Schedule 1 of our 2019 EU Exit SI with further changes relating to the UKNI mark laid out in Part 3 of our 2020 EU Exit SI.
  • However, products placed on the GB market do not have to bear the UKCA marking until 1 January 2023. The CE marking may continue to be used until 1 January 2023 more information can be found here.

 

PART 2: REQUIREMENTS FOR NORTHERN IRELAND MARKED PRODUCTS.

GENERAL APPLICATION OF THE UKNI MARKING

11. When do I need to apply the UKNI marking to my product?

  • From 1 January 2021, you need to use the UKNI marking if you are placing certain goods on the Northern Ireland market (mostly goods subject to the CE marking and aerosol containers) where the goods: require mandatory third-party conformity assessment, and this has been undertaken by a UK notified body. The UKNI marking must accompany the relevant EU conformity mark, usually the CE marking.
  • The UKNI marking does not apply if: you use an EU notified body, in which case you only apply the relevant EU conformity mark. If your products do not require third-party conformity assessment, meaning they can be self-declared.
PLACING GOODS FROM GB into NI MARKET

12. Will UKCA marked goods be accepted on the NI market without the UKNI marking?

  • No, the valid markings for placing goods on the NI market are the CE marking or the CE + UKNI markings.
  • The UKCA marking can appear alongside the CE or the CE + UKNI markings if you are planning on selling your good on the GB and NI market and both sets of relevant rules have been met.
  • A product may bear additional markings, if: they fulfil a different function from that of the CE marking, o are not liable to cause confusion with it, and do not reduce its legibility and visibility.
  • Additional markings must not affect the legibility, visibility or meaning of the CE or CE + UKNI marking.
  • More information on this can be found here.

13. What is the role of importers and distributors from 1 January 2021 for selling on the NI market?

  • The Northern Ireland Protocol came into force on 1 January 2021. The effect of the Protocol is that Northern Ireland aligns with all relevant EU rules relating to the placing on the market of manufactured goods. This means that, where a business already holds the relevant approvals that goods meet EU rules, and continues to produce goods to those rules, this continues to provide the basis for placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland.
  • An importer is the one based in NI (or an EU/EEA county) bringing goods into Northern Ireland from either Great Britain or another non-EEA country and placing them on the Northern Ireland market for the first time. If those goods have already been placed on the EU or NI market (for example by an EU-based importer, manufacturer or their Authorised Representative) then you do not need to take action.
  •  An importer will need to make sure: goods conform with the relevant essential requirements and goods are labelled with the details of the importer who must be based in Northern Ireland or the EEA. These details include the company’s name, or registered trademark, and a contact address. The correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings. The manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with the labelling requirements. They maintain a copy of the EU Declaration of Conformity for a period of 10 years.

PLACING GOODS FROM NI ON THE GB MARKET

14. Will products marked UKNI be accepted on the rest of the UK market?

  • The UK Government has committed to delivering unfettered access for qualifying Northern Ireland goods and businesses to the rest of the UK internal market from 1 January 2021.
  • This ensures that trade from Northern Ireland to Great Britain continues for those businesses as it does now.
  • This includes accepting qualifying NI goods lawfully bearing a CE or CE+UKNI marking as valid for the rest of the UK market. More information on qualification can be found here.

15. Can CE marked products manufactured in NI be placed on the GB market without the application of the UKCA marking?

  • The UK Government has guaranteed unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods and businesses to the rest of the UK market, which means qualifying NI goods lawfully carrying the CE marking or the CE + UKNI markings will be accepted on the GB market (Scotland, Wales, England) without the need for additional markings or approvals.
  • You can read more about placing qualifying Northern Ireland goods on the GB market here.

16. Can I use conformity assessment bodies based anywhere in the UK to certify my product for the NI market?

  • Yes. Conformity assessment bodies in the UK automatically retained their status as Notified Bodies for placing products on the NI market only (as per Article 7(3) of the Northern Ireland Protocol).
  • UK-based bodies will keep the same 4-digit identification number as they have now.
  • UKMCAB lists the UK Notified Bodies who can provide conformity assessment for goods placed on the NI market.
  • If an EU assessment body certifies your product, it will carry the CE marking. If you are using a UK notified body to carry out mandatory third-party conformity assessment, then you also need to apply a UKNI marking (sometimes referred to as the UK(NI) marking or the UK(NI) indication) alongside the CE marking.
  • You never apply the UKNI marking on its own – it always accompanies an EU conformity marking, such as the CE marking. Goods with the CE and UKNI marking cannot be placed on the market in the EU.

17. What requirements must an importer meet when placing goods on the NI market?

  • To place goods on the Northern Ireland market for the first time, an importer will need to be in either Northern Ireland or the EU, or in some cases, in the EEA. This requirement needs to be met when bringing goods from GB into NI. If those goods have already been placed on the EU or NI market (for example by an EU-based importer, manufacturer or their Authorised Representative) then you do not need to take action.
  • NI-based manufacturers, distributors and fulfilment service providers (from 16 July 2021) have different responsibilities and you should check the gov.uk guidance and check sector specific legislation.

PART 3: EU REQUIREMENTS FOR CE MARKED PRODUCTS

18. What must I do to continue selling my good into the EU/EEA as my current UK-based conformity assessment body cannot provide certification for the CE marking?

  • If EU legislation requires mandatory third-party conformity assessment for your product, you will need to make arrangements to get certification for the EU/EEA.
  • Check whether your UK approved body has arrangements in place to help you get certification for the EU market. This may mean you can export to the EU without needing to find a new EU notified body yourself.
  •  If not, you need to either: get your products assessed by an EU recognised notified body; or arrange for information held by your existing UK approved body to be transferred to an EU recognised notified body so they can issue you with an additional certificate.
  • EU notified bodies continue to be listed on NANDO.

19. Do my goods need to be labelled with my importer’s name and address?

  • Where there is an EU importer, the importer needs to make sure goods are labelled with their details (or the importer’s authorised representative) who must be based in Northern Ireland, the EU, or the EEA.
  • These details include the company’s name, or registered trademark, and a contact address.
  • Since 16 July 2021, you will need to make sure that there is an economic operator based in the EU or NI to be able to undertake certain tasks, which may mean you need to appoint an authorised representative based in the EU or EEA if you sell goods without using an importer or fulfilment service provider. For example, if you sell online and ship directly to the end user.

20. Do I need to appoint an Authorised Representative to sell my goods in the EU?

  • Manufacturers can appoint Authorised Representatives (ARs) to carry out tasks on their behalf.
  • Generally, the appointment of an authorised representative is optional for CE marked goods, but you will need to check the specific legislation that applies to your product to confirm whether you are required to appoint an AR, as for some goods it will be compulsory to have an economic operator based in the EU (or NI) since 16 July 2021; from this date “economic operator”includes fulfilment service providers, as well as manufacturers, their authorised representatives, importers and distributors, if there is no other economic operator based in the EU or NI, you may need to appoint an AR.
  • It is mandatory for some products in cases where the manufacturer is not based in an EU country.
  • In all cases, whether compulsory or voluntary, ARs based in Great Britain are no longer recognised by the EU. If you are required to by the relevant EU legislation, you will need to appoint an AR based in the EU, EEA, or Northern Ireland.

21. Can I place the CE marking on my good as well as the UKCA marking?

  • Yes, you can place the UKCA and CE marking on the same product if it is destined for both markets so long as the product meets the relevant regulatory requirements for both markets. You can find EU legislation here. Relevant UK legislation can be found here.
  • A product may bear additional markings if they: fulfil a different function, are not liable to cause confusion with it, and do not reduce its legibility, visibility or meaning.

PART 4: CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT

22. Who can sign a Declaration of Conformity?

  • As a manufacturer, it is your responsibility to sign the Declaration of Conformity.

Depending on the conformity assessment procedure and the relevant legislation, an authorised representative may be permitted to draw up and sign the declaration of conformity.

23. Where can I find a UK Approved Body (formerly Notified Body) for my good?

  • From 1 January 2021 UK-based notified bodies (NBs) automatically became UK approved bodies.

UK approved bodies are listed on the UK Market Conformity Assessment database (UKMCAB): here.

24. Can I self-declare my good?

  • If before the end of the transition period the relevant EU legislation allowed for self-assessment of conformity for the CE marking, UK legislation will also allow self-declaration for the UKCA marking.
  • If that is the case, the manufacturer can affix the UKCA marking and draw up the UK Declaration of Conformity.

This can be done even when they are not based in the UK, please see here.

25. What are the requirements for a Declaration of Conformity for a product manufactured in Northern Ireland?

  • Where third party conformity assessment is required, manufacturers will be able to have a certificate of conformity issued by a UK-Notified Body that will enable them to apply the CE and UKNI marking (together) or an EU based notified body that will enable them to apply the CE marking.
  • If you are a manufacturer based in Northern Ireland (or are the manufacturer’s authorised representative), and you currently mark your goods based on a supplier’s declaration of conformity, sometimes known as ‘self-certifying’ or self-declaring, you may continue as before the UK left the EU on 31 December 2020.
  • Your EU Declaration of Conformity should contain the following information: Your name and full business address or that of your authorised representative (authorised representative must be based in the NI or the EU for goods placed on the market in NI), the product’s serial number/model/type identification, a statement, stating you take full responsibility (to be completed once the products have positive conformity assessment), the details of the conformity assessment body which will be carrying out the conformity assessment procedure (refer to step 2 for appropriate conformity assessment body for your chosen market), the relevant EU legislation, if applicable list the Harmonised Standards or other means used to prove compliance, your name and signature, the date the declaration was issued, supplementary information (if applicable).
  • The EU Declaration of Conformity must be available to market surveillance authorities upon request.
  • For products that are placed on the NI market from any country outside the EU/EEA, the NI or EU-based importer must retain a copy of the EU Declaration of Conformity. This includes products brought into NI from Great Britain, as Great Britain is treated as third country under the relevant EU legislation that applies in NI. The manufacturer or their authorised representative (where applicable) must also retain a copy of the EU Declaration of Conformity.

26. Where a product type has been approved prior to 1st Jan 2021, will each individual product produced after the 1st on January 2023 need certification for the GB market?

  • Placing goods on the market refers to each individual good, not a type of good. Therefore, from 1 January 2023, individual goods that are placed on the GB market will need to be certified by a UK approved body.

27. If a standard has diverged, will they still require UKCA marking?

  • The UKCA marking is recognised as demonstrating compliance with UK regulations for products being placed on the Great British market. Regardless of the standard divergence, businesses will be required to attach the UKCA marking.
  • Following 1 January 2021, the UKCA marking is now recognised as demonstrating conformity for the GB market for most goods currently subject to the CE mark

PART 5: IMPORTER OBLIGATIONS

28. Is there a transitional measure in place for attaching the importer’s name and address to the good in the UK?

29. Does an importer need to be a UK based entity?

  • To place goods on the GB market, the importer needs to be based in the UK – this includes Northern Ireland.
  • To place goods on the NI market, the importer and the manufacturer’s authorised representative need to be based in NI, the EU, or the EEA.
  • For goods placed on the GB market, the importer is the first UK-based entity to place a product on the GB market from outside the UK (this includes a business based in NI who places a product on the GB market which has been supplied to them from an EU country).

30. Can an importer act as an importer for customs purposes, or does the importer definition vary for placing goods on the market?

  •  For the purposes of customs, an importer can either be the owner of the goods being imported, or anyone that has a beneficial interest in the goods being imported. Whereas, for the purposes of placing goods on the UK market, an importer is anyone who brings a third country’s product into the UK and supplies it on the UK market.
  • The importer needs to be based in the UK, and in most cases, to have their name and address on products and maintain copies of technical documentation related to products they import.
  • Please check the Product safety for businesses guidance to see if that applies to your product.

ANNEX A

Manufacturer

The manufacturer is anyone who manufactures a product or has a product designed or manufactured and markets that product under its name or trademark.

Importer

The importer is a person who is established in the relevant market and is the first to place goods from an external market onto the market that they operate in.

Distributor

The distributor is a person, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who makes goods available on the market.

Authorised representative

An “authorised representative” means a person or business appointed and mandated by the manufacturer to undertake specified tasks on behalf of the manufacturer. There are rules as to where an authorised representative (AR) must be established – for the GB market the manufacturer’s AR must be established in the UK; for the NI market and AR must be established in NI or the EU/EEA.

Fulfilment service provider

A “fulfilment service provider” is legally defined by Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 (which will apply in NI and the EEA since 16 July 2021), as follows “any natural or legal person (business) offering, in the course of commercial activity, at least two of the following services: warehousing, packaging, addressing and dispatching, without having ownership of the products involved, excluding postal services as defined in point 1 of Article 2 of Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (31), parcel delivery services as defined in point 2 of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2018/644 of the European Parliament and of the Council (32), and any other postal services or freight transport services”; as yet there is no legal definition of “fulfilment service provider” for the purposes of GB product safety legislation.

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